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Teshuvat ha-Ge'onim, R. Johanan b. Isaac, Amsterdam 1770

תשובת הגאונים - Only Edition - Polemic

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  • Lot Number 54395
  • Title (English) Teshuvat ha-Ge'onim
  • Title (Hebrew) תשובת הגאונים
  • Note Only Edition - Polemic
  • Author R. Johanan b. Isaac
  • City Amsterdam
  • Publisher Immanual b. Joseph Attias
  • Publication Date 1770
  • Estimated Price - Low 500
  • Estimated Price - High 1,000

  • Item # 2605545
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

Only edition. [1], 18 ff., quarto, 202:145 mm., nice margins, light age and damp staining, neat paper repairs, stamps and old hands of previous owners. A good copy bound in modern cloth over boards.


Detail Description

Important responsa in a controversy that embroiled all of England and the continent in the matter of a divorce issued by R. Aaron Hart and granted in London in 1707. The work by R. Johanan b. Isaac, rabbi of the Hambro Synagogue of the London Ashkenazi community, a native of Holleschau (Holesov, Moravia), was republished with changes in the same year with the title Ma'aseh Rav.

Invoved in the controversy was Marcus Moses (Mordecai Hamburger; d. 1735), son of Moses Libusch, a leader of Hamburg Jewry, married a daughter of Glueckel von Hameln and settled in London. His criticism of the divorce brought him into conflict with the established Ashkenazi community. He was excommunicated, and in consequence in 1707 set up his own synagogue (later the Hambro synagogue). Becoming impoverished in 1712 he went to Fort St. George (Madras) in India, and was involved in the purchase for the governor of Madras, Thomas Pitt, of the famous Pitt diamond, later sold to the regent of France. In 1721 he returned to England a wealthy man and built his congregation a new synagogue. In 1731 he went back to India where he died.

The opposition was headed by Abraham Nathan (d. 1745), founder of the London Ashkenazi community, also known as Reb Aberle, Aberle London, and Abraham [of] Hamburg. The son of R. Moses Nathan (Norden) of Hamburg, he was a wealthy diamond merchant and a rabbinical scholar of considerable attainment. It was through him that R. Zevi Ashkenazi was induced to go to London in 1705 to arbitrate in the dispute then dividing the Sephardi community regarding the orthodoxy of the opinions of the haham David Nieto. In 1704 Nathan was prevented by the Court of Aldermen from erecting a separate synagogue with a yeshiva attached. Later, however, he took the lead in vindictive fashion in the divorce dispute which resulted in the setting up of the Hambro' Synagogue by his rival Marcus Moses. He ultimately returned to Hamburg in reduced circumstances.


Hebrew Description:

... בענין קריאת השמות הגדולים... האיך יהיה נקראים. ה"ה הגאון מהר"פ [ר' פתחיה] שהיה אב"ד ור"מ בק"ק ניקלשפארג. והגאון מהר"ם (ר' אהרן משה בר שניאור זלמן) שהיה אב"ד ור"מ בק"ק קראקא. והרב... שבתי (ב"ר יצחק) מפרעמסלי. ומחובר לטהור דברי הגדולים במעשה רב... אב"ד ור"מ דק"ק אמשטרדם מהר"ר יהודא ליב חריף זצ"ל. והגאון... חכם צבי [ר' צבי ב"ר יעקב אשכנזי] נר"ו אב"ד ור"מ דק"ק המבורג. ואלטונא היה לפנים. והרב.. ר' יהודא ליב נר"ו אב"ד ור"מ דק"ק ראטרדם... ואיידי דזוטרי צוותא יהא לספר אחרת. אשר העלה והביא לדפוס... ר' יוחנן בהר"י זצ"ל הנקרא ר' איצק ר' היללש מהעלישויא אב"ד ור"מ בק"ק לונדין בקהל אשכנזי' העומדי' בבית ה' של הקצין כמ' מרדכי מק"ק המבורג... והוסיף נופך משלו...

הוא-הוא ספר "מעשה רב", בשינויים: תשובת הגאונים לפני מעשה רב ובתוספת דברים מאת המחבר ומאת ר' יהודה ליב מראטרדם (דף טו-יח). מרדכי המבורגר קנה "לו שדה לבית עלמין... וקנה עוד ס"ת לעשות מנין בפני עצמו" (דף יז, ב). קטע זה נדפס גם ב"מעשה רב", אבל כאן כבר שימש ר' יוחנן "אב"ד ור"מ בק"ק לונדין... בבית... הקצין כמ' מרדכי". נראה אפוא, שהספר נדפס לאחר שהפירוד העמיק.



Vinograd, Amsterdam 832; Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000184400; EJ